The highest level of luxury and the loftiest pleasures tend to be found in isolated places, guarded like gems worthy of royalty. A case in point is the boutique hotel Palazzo Seneca in the small city of Norcia, Italy, a sophisticated medieval palace turned into luxury lodgings in a classic style, with a long gastronomical tradition and a Michelin star.
Norcia is not just another town. Here was born Saint Benito, founder of the Benedictine monastic order, and its entire history is intimately linked to monastic activity.
Perhaps this seems like a colorful fact, but it’s much more than that. Thanks to this influence, the region currently boasts a great number of producers of cold cuts, dairy products, sweets, and alcoholic beverages of excellent quality, as well as woodworking artisans that conserve the traditions developed for centuries by the industrious monks.
Refined decoration, internationally-recognized gourmet cuisine, and obvious natural beauty make the Palazzo Seneca of Norcia a true paradise for those who love foodie tourism.
The old building of the Palazzo Seneca lies hidden in a tiny street in this old walled town, and it was restored with virtuosity by the most experienced family of hoteliers in the region: the Bianconi. What distinguishES this elegant hotel is the exquisite balance of its eclectic decoration, which combines antique 16th century objects with modern works of art, contemporary furnishings and cutting edge technology.
Local artisans have collaborated with ON unique pieces such as columns and headboards made of carved wood, custom-made iron frames, and modern-style works of art that complement 16th century leather-inlay desks and antique chairs that formerly belonged to the Vatican.
But its centenary origins do not mean it lacks all the comforts of our age. The Palazzo Seneca boasts a welcoming spa with A Jacuzzi, sauna, and Turkish bath, as well as high-speed internet, cutting-edge entertainment systems and modern baths decorated in marble of diverse colors.
As could not be otherwise in this region, its restaurant, Vespia, is an elegant establishment with the distinction of a Michelin star; it exploits the rich culinary tradition of Norcia employing contemporary gourmet techniques. The dining room, with white-tablecloth covered round tables, comes to life thanks to local products such as foccacia, polenta grissini, dry-cured ham, plum marmalade, pork, and the undisputed stars of the region: the delicious truffles. The province of Perugia is one of Italy’s most important truffle-producing regions, and the harvest is a traditional activity in the area.
High-quality food production is so important for Norcia that the Palazzo Seneca itself offers a series of guided tours to different producer establishments, which provide the ingredients the restaurant uses.
Refined decoration, internationally-recognized gourmet cuisine, and obvious natural beauty make the Palazzo Seneca of Norcia a true paradise for those who love foodie tourism. ■